2020 has been a challenging year for many local businesses and Fairview was no exception, but they are also not strangers to adversity – or to overcoming it. Many locals will remember the huge factory fire that took place at their Donald St Lithgow premises in August 2011 as it made national news and took more than 70 firefighters to contain. Wiping out a significant amount of their stock and making their premises inaccessible for months would have been enough for many to close their doors but the team banded together with the support of their customers and suppliers and came out the other side stronger than ever.
The company, which is owned and run by the Gillies family, has seen huge growth in the years since and are now one of the leading suppliers of commercial façade cladding materials in Australia with a workforce of more than 50 staff and offices in Lithgow, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Tasmania. However, 2020 saw the business threatened as it was hit by not only the effects of COVID, but also undertook a voluntary administration process following some challenging commercial headwinds, including the impact of an industry class action on the business.
As we reported on the 3rd of November, Fairview were able to successfully complete the administration process with the sale to a related entity approved, all creditors paid in full and all employees retaining their jobs and entitlements; which was very welcome news for more than 40 Lithgow locals.
Prior to Christmas break, staff had a chance to meet with the Hon. Paul Toole MP, member for Bathurst, and thank him for his support during the administration process. “We picked up the phone to Paul a few weeks into the administration process to advise him of the threat to local jobs and he didn’t hesitate to offer his full support to our team. Paul remained in contact throughout the process and showed a genuine desire for a positive outcome, which was very much appreciated by the entire team” says Greg Stewart, CEO. “We recently had the pleasure of taking him for a tour of our premises, have him meet the team and share with him some of our initiatives that will see the business double in size over the next 3 to 4 years”.
When contacted for comment, the Hon. Paul Toole said of Fairview “it was fantastic to meet the team and see the impressive operation that they have built. It is a huge win for Lithgow to retain those 40 jobs and I was really encouraged to see their innovative plans for the future which will increase local employment opportunities, as well as put Lithgow on the map for some nation-first recycling initiatives”.
And it is these opportunities which Marika Kelly, Head of People and Culture, hopes to see strengthen their position as an employer of choice for locals within the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Bathurst regions. “With many local employment opportunities being in mining, government or public industries, we aim to maximise the benefits of being a private employer and focus on keeping the ‘family’ feel regardless of how big we grow. Our people are our greatest asset and that’s why we consider them part of the family – and treat them as such.”
With a huge focus on culture, recognition, innovation, and staff development; Fairview certainly has lots to offer prospective employees and Marika hopes that this will see a strong candidate pool for a number of new roles that their growth will open up. And with the changing education environment of COVID derailing many people’s plans for 2021, Fairview presents opportunities to combine study and work to both school leavers and those wanting to further their careers.
“We are always looking for new talent to join the Fairview Family and encourage anyone interested in joining the team to email a copy of their resume to [email protected] regardless of whether we are advertising at the time,” Ms Kelly says.
Current job vacancies can be found at: www.fv.com.au/careers/
Watch this space for more news to come as Fairview launch their nation-leading environmental recycling initiative in the coming weeks.